Louisville Joins Next-Generation Broadband Communities to Launch Next Century Cities

October 21, 2014

Mayor Fischer announces Louisville as a leading member of national initiative to advance fast, affordable, reliable Internet

LOUISVILLE (October 21, 2014) –   This morning, Louisville was featured in the launch of Next Century Cities, a bipartisan, city-to-city initiative dedicated to ensuring the availability of next-generation broadband Internet for all communities.

"A high-speed broadband network has quickly become viewed as critical urban infrastructure, similar to electricity, water and roadways," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "As a city we want to create a world-leading gigabit-capable network with comparable and reasonable prices that will foster innovation, drive job creation and stimulate economic growth.”  

From the start, Louisville made a commitment to make general, business-friendly, fiber-friendly policy changes to attract companies.

In 2013, Louisville issued a global call for companies and organizations to consider building a high speed gigabit network in Louisville.

The request’s three goals:

  • Creating a world-leading gigabit-capable network across the city to foster innovation, drive job creation and stimulate economic growth;
  • Providing free or heavily-discounted gigabit 100MB (minimum) internet service over a wired or wireless network to underserved and disadvantaged residents;
  • Delivering gigabit internet service at prices comparable to other gigabit fiber communities across the nation.

After a successful RFI/RFP process, Louisville’s Metro Council, in July, approved three new 20-year franchise agreements for fiber network buildout with:  BGN, SiFi and FiberTech.

Louisville continues to focus on grassroots support for the future network from city residents, academics and the business community.

Engagement occurs though a web-based tool, Louisville Fiber, providing information on the three vendors, project updates and basic facts about fiber infrastructure.

“Across the country, we’re seeing cities hungry to deploy high-speed Internet to transform communities and connect residents to better jobs, better health care, and better education for their children,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “Mayor Fischer and Chief of Civic Innovation Ted Smith are joining other leaders across the country to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Next Century Cities is committed to celebrating these successes, demonstrating their value, and helping other cities to realize the full power of truly high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband.”

Next Century Cities is a new initiative of 31 cities nationwide joining together to recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit-level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities.

Together with Louisville, Next Century Cities will support communities and their elected leaders, including mayors and other officials, as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. Participating cities will work with each other to learn about what works - and what doesn’t - so that every community has access to information that can help them succeed. Cities will also work together to raise awareness of this important issue to all Americans.

“Joining Next Century Cities is a great way for Louisville to work with other cities facing similar challenges,” said Mayor Fischer. “Collaboration is imperative and it fuels the exchange of ideas which contributes to the success of cities around the country. Next Century Cities will help provide an adequate foundation to propel Louisville forward in a technology-based economy.”

Today’s launch, held at a dynamic co-working space for Santa Monica’s technology companies, convened mayors and other leaders from cities, including Austin, Kansas City, Portland and San Antonio for a cross-cutting discussion of what’s worked in their cities and how to expand fast and reliable Internet nationwide. (See below for a full list of inaugural partner cities).

Founding city leaders agreed on the importance of next-generation broadband for thriving 21st century communities. The launch event also featured a group discussion among additional mayors, a demonstration of the potential of gigabit Internet connections for cities, and a panel with leading technology officials. Register to join the live webcast from 9:30am – 1:00pm PT/12:30pm – 4:00pm ET at http://conta.cc/1DW073w.

Next Century Cities: Inaugural Partner Cities

  • Ammon, ID
  • Auburn, IN
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Centennial, CO
  • Champaign, IL
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Clarksville, TN
  • Jackson, TN
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Lafayette, LA
  • Leverett, MA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Montrose, CO
  • Morristown, TN
  • Mount Vernon, WA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Ponca City, OK
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Rockport, ME
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Sandy, OR
  • Santa Cruz County, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • South Portland, ME
  • Urbana, IL
  • Westminster, MD
  • Wilson, NC
  • Winthrop, MN

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